GWMS Sunday Message

Week of February 8

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Kudos to…

  • Ms. Portillo for her supervision during the 4:15 bus dismissal, we can always count on her.
  • Mr. Perkins, Mr. Olmstead and Ms. MJ for helping with transition to electives.
  • Ms. Hein for her work around SOL prep.
  • Ms. Downey and Mr. Jones for helping out a fellow colleague.
  • 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Science teachers for work around SOL prep.
  • Ms. Rivas for helping in the 7th grade office while Ms. Benitez was out.
  • Ms. Palmer, Ms. Spector and Ms. Mayer for helping with professional learning last Tuesday.

If you'd like to add your own Kudos the link is here.

Staff Member of the Month

Each month we will highlight a staff member of the month. This person will get to use the “Staff of the Month” parking spot near Door 3. For February, the Staff Member of the Month is Anika Buster-Singleton. This year Ms. Buster-Singleton has been nominated as the GWMS staff member of the year due to her amazing content knowledge, ability to connect with her students and her dedication to our school. Congrats Ms. Buster-Singleton!

Now it is time for our PBIS vocabulary game….. WORDS WITH FRACULTY

WORDS WITH FRACULTY! This week’s intellectually snobbish, impractical, obsolete, and vacuous word will be stated on the announcements. Students will be challenged to use the word in its proper context per the appropriate content area to gain prexie love in their classes.

THIS WEEKS WORD: KNOTTY - complex, difficult to solve

Locker Clean Out

We will be holding a locker clean-out during homeroom using the following schedule:

Monday, February 8: 6th Grade

Tuesday, February 9: 7th Grade

Wednesday, February 10: 8th Grade

New Student Schedules - Pass Out During Homeroom Monday, February 8

Students will receive their 2nd semester schedules on Monday, February 8, 2016.

  • All Homeroom teachers pass out schedules from AA's, to the kids during homeroom on Monday February 8th.
  • Semester 2/Quarter 3 classes change, starting Tuesday February 9th.
  • Students have ONE WEEK, on February 16th, to request schedule changes for Semester 2 electives with their school counselors. Students should see their school counselors to request changes. Changes will be very limited due to space/capacity.

National History Day - Feb 8 and 9

Monday, Feb. 8th, 8:45am

1005 Mount Vernon Avenue

Alexandria, VA

National History Day is upon us. This event involves all students in honors history courses and will span two days. On Monday, Feb. 8th and Tuesday, Feb. 9th students will be competing in the school wide competition for NHD. If you have time during your planning, please come down and see the hard work of our students.

Here are a few logistical reminders:

• 7th and 8th grade students will be competing the morning of Monday, Feb. 8th. Students will be in the library or mini gym starting at 8:45. Once a student’s project is judged, they will then return to class. Based on when their project is judged, they can be gone from 15-45 minutes. The morning session ends at 11:30.

• Group projects will be judged in the afternoon on Monday, Feb. 8th. Students from grades 6-8 will be judged during this time. Once a project is judged students will return to class.

• 6th grade students will be competing the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 9th. Students will be in the library or mini gym starting at 8:45. Once a student’s project is judged, they will then return to class. Based on when their project is judged, they can be gone from 15-45 minutes. The morning session ends at 11:30.

• If students are presenting a documentary, they will come to the designated locations 5 minutes prior to their start time. They will return to class after they present, and will miss a total of 20 minutes of class time.

• History teachers will give students times and locations of where to report.

Thank you for your support as we judge over 500 projects over two days. Winners will move on to the Regional Competition on March 5th. Winners will be announced later next week.

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences will be Thursday, February 25. Early dismissal will occur for students on both February 25th and 26th. Conferences will only be held on Thursday, February 25th until 7:30 p.m. Dinner will be served from 5:30pm - 7:00pm For the February conferences, all grade levels will be holding them as teams. Each family is allotted a 10 minute slot. Forms went home last week. See your team lead and/or Academic Principal if you have any questions.

Student Surveys & Mid Year Reflection

Remember to complete the Student Survey Summary and the PLP Goal Setting Form Part 2 in TalentED. If you are a probationary teacher you must schedule a Mid-Year meeting with your evaluator. If you are on continuing contract, only the two tasks in TalentED are necessary at this time.

Quarter Ends February 8 - Grades Due February 11 by 4pm

As you know the marking period has been extended to end on February 8th. All assignments for Q2 need to be dated to on or before 2/7 to calculate in Q2.

Once a quarter has started we are not able to alter the beginning or end dates of the quarter. Currently, Q2 is set to end on 2/7 in PowerSchool. Therefore, if the Q2 date is moved later than 2/7 teachers will need to be made aware that all assignments that are to be counted in the Q2 calculation will have to be back-dated on or before 2/7. Any assignment dated 2/8 or later will calculate into Q3.

PBIS - February Pillar is RESPECT Reloaded!

The Prexie Pride Pillar of the Month is Respect Reloaded! This month we will focus on Black History Month and Respect by using the theme, What Are You Fighting For? Each week we will use specific events from African American culture to highlight this theme and challenge reasons why they should demonstrate respect for themselves, for their peers and adults, for example:

  • Montgomery Bus Boycott vs. Following directions on the school bus, What Are You Fighting For?
  • Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-in vs. Following directions in the cafeteria, What Are You Fighting For?
  • Overall Civil Rights Movement vs. Following simple requests, What Are You Fighting For?

Our goal this month is to help our students understand that they don't need to fight (fight by not putting forth effort, fight following simple requests, fight their peers) because the fighting has already been done for them! We want to take away any excuse they have not to demonstrate respect by asking them the question, "What Are You Fighting For?"

Mail Chimp

Mail Chimp has proven to be a great way to keep our GW families in the loop with all of the fantastic things that go on at GWMS. Thank you to everyone for your contributions…..KEEP THEM COMING! You are doing great work with our students and the parental feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Continue to send your pictures and short write-ups to Ms. Barnes - - to share all the wonderful things going on in your classrooms.

Thank you!


Please stand in the middle of the hallways and actively monitor and support students on their way to class. We need to perform as a unified team in this respect. The power of the many is what makes transitions smooth and orderly. Simply put, we cannot do this alone.

Saturday School

Please make sure you fill out the Saturday School referral form and send all work to the 7th grade office for Ms. Benitez to have ready for the students when they check in.

Restorative Justice

Community and relationship building, lessons will be resent this week. Please take time during homeroom to complete these lessons.

Upcoming Week

Monday 2/8/16


National History Day

Tuesday 2/9/16

National History Day


  • if you have time to come help judge please see Ms. Podgorski

Staff Mtg 3:30pm Library

PTA Meeting with Dr. Crawley

Wednesday 2/10/16

Superintendent Chat 8:30am Library

WIDA Testing

VGLA Team Monitoring 2pm - 4pm

AVID Site Team Meeting, 3:30pm MPR

Thursday 2/11/16


Friday 2/12/16

Have a great long weekend!

Monday 2/16/16

NO SCHOOL - President's Day